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Obama to visit climate pact talks in Paris

Obama to visit climate pact talks in Paris
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President Obama will travel at the end of November to Paris to participate in the negotiations for a global agreement to fight climate change.

Obama’s brief visit will only last two days, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, out of the two-week event, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Monday.

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Obama touted U.S. leadership in the talks on Monday, using the first post on his own new Facebook page to talk about the conference.

“Because of American leadership, we’ve already been able to get 150 countries that represent about 90 percent of the world’s economy and carbon emissions, to agree that we have to come together to create that international framework,” Obama said in the video post, which showed him walking through the south lawn of the White House. “And we’re going to be meeting in Paris in December to try to hammer out that agreement.”

He also made international climate action central to his rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline Friday.

“As long as I’m president of the United States, America's gonna hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold the rest of the world,” he said in his White House speech.

“And three weeks from now, I look forward to joining my fellow world leaders in Paris, where we've got to come together around an ambitious framework to protect the one planet that we've got while we still can.”

Obama has made the Paris talks a central piece of his climate agenda in his second term while working on domestic climate policies, like the landmark carbon dioxide limits for power plants.

The GOP has tried various methods to undermine the talks, including trying to show that Obama’s promise of a 26 percent to 28 percent cut in United States emissions is impossible and trying to undo major climate policies.

Earnest said Obama’s priorities at the talks are to agree to a deal that incorporates individual countries’ commitments, incentivizes further future reductions and includes financial and technical help for developing countries.